Enhance the Quality of Care in Residential Care Facilities

November 1, 2022

For decades, technology in residential care facilities has not changed. A resident in need of assistance pulls a cord or pushes a button and waits. At some point, a staff member comes to their aid, but staff generally don’t know the order in which residents call for help, the reason they need help, and the seriousness of the situation.

With these older systems and long response times come issues that can have a negative impact on residents’ care. Perhaps a resident’s call is accidentally dismissed, and they miss a needed medication, or no one notices that the same resident has had multiple falls and needs a different level of care.

The Sage platform fills a gap in technology at residential care facilities, helping cut down on response times, support better staffing levels, and provide higher quality care to residents. The platform provides residential care facilities with a dashboard and app that allows caregivers and residents to connect and communicate needs and replaces outdated nurse call systems.

Improve Alert Response Times

With Sage, residential care facilities can track alert count, alert claim time, and alert resolution time. The Sage platform also allows facilities to track alarms triggered by residents based on the reason for the call. Knowing the call reason can help staff prioritize which one to address first and decrease call times. Because of how information is logged, important details are easily passed from one shift to the next. This helps ensure alerts don’t fall through the cracks and contribute to longer response times.

Older nurse call systems used regularly in residential care facilities don’t have functionality that tracks response times. Staff in residential care facilities are tasked with responding to resident calls as soon as possible, but studies have found response times can be up to 20 to 30 minutes.

These long response times happen for many reasons.

  • A staff member stops by to say they’ll be right back and accidentally forgets
  • A lack of ability to triage incidents across teams to ensure level of need is prioritized
  • A resident’s needs aren’t communicated during a shift change when they should’ve been relayed from one team to the next
  • A caregiver may need to find a second staff member to assist them while others in line for assistance wait
  • Alarm fatigue can make it difficult for caregivers to differentiate between urgent and non-urgent alarms

Without a modern system to track alerts and residents’ needs, incidents like those above are more likely to occur.

Find Patterns In Residents’ Needs

It can be difficult in residential care facilities to properly track the needs of residents, especially when relying on handwritten records and on staff’s recalled memories. Facilities that use Sage avoid this because the platform allows them to track data on residents digitally. Records are more accurate and more easily accessible to staff, and it’s less likely that alerts will be missed.

Data can also be used by care managers to easily see and track patterns in residents’ needs. With this information, they can identify if changes to the residents' care need to be made to properly address their needs. For example, if a resident has an increase in the need for assistance to use the bathroom, that may signal that they have a medical condition that needs care. Or, if a resident has a spike in mobility needs, they may need a different type of mobility device than they currently use.

Get the Right Level of Care Faster

In many residential care facilities, residents’ paper records are only reviewed every few months or more to determine if changes need to be made in their care plan. The needs of a resident can easily change more rapidly than a residential care facility’s existing record system allows, and holes in data may mean that necessary changes aren’t obvious.

Perhaps a resident who has fallen multiple times needs to switch from a walker to a wheelchair. However, if no one notices how many times they have fallen in recent weeks or incidents weren’t recorded properly, it might go unnoticed.

With data from Sage, staff at facilities can view information on resident alerts quickly using the dashboard and see if there are any issues that are becoming a concern. Reports from Sage highlight which residents are requesting more frequent care and even recommend what actions to take based on the data.

Data from Sage also shows patterns in call times that can help facilities get a better understanding of what levels of staffing they should have. If resident calls are consistently answered promptly on Tuesdays but response times are longer on Saturdays, they can adjust schedules to align with that trend. They can potentially lower staffing on Tuesdays to increase it on Saturdays to ensure more consistent alert response times.

Higher Quality Care With Sage

With Sage, residential care facilities can improve the overall quality of care for their residents using data to make impactful changes. By identifying trends, they can address their residents' needs and facility operations while being better prepared for the unexpected.